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The Behavior of AEC in Scan Regions Outside the Localizer Radiograph FOV: An In Phantom Study of CT Systems From Four Vendors

M Supanich

M Supanich1*, N Bevins2 , (1) Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, (2) Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI


SU-E-I-48 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall


This review of scanners from 4 major manufacturers examines the clinical impact of performing CT scans that extend into areas of the body that were not acquired in the CT localizer radiograph.


Anthropomorphic chest and abdomen phantoms were positioned together on the tables of CT scanners from 4 different vendors. All of the scanners offered an Automatic Exposure Control (AEC) option with both lateral and axial tube current modulation. A localizer radiograph was taken covering the entire extent of both phantoms and then the scanner's Chest-Abdomen-Pelvis (CAP) study was performed with the clinical AEC settings employed and the scan and reconstruction range extending from the superior portion of the chest phantom through the inferior portion of the abdomen phantom. A new study was then initiated with a localizer radiograph extending the length of the chest phantom (not covering the abdomen phantom). The same CAP protocol and AEC settings were then used to scan and reconstruct the entire length of both phantoms. Scan parameters at specific locations in the abdomen phantom from both studies were investigated using the information contained in the DICOM metadata of the reconstructed images.


The AEC systems on all scanners utilized different tube current settings in the abdomen phantom for the scan completed without the full localizer radiograph. The AEC system behavior was also scanner dependent with the default manual tube current, the maximum tube current and the tube current at the last known position observed as outcomes.


The behavior of the AEC systems of CT scanners in regions not covered by the localizer radiograph is vendor dependent. To ensure optimal image quality and radiation exposure it is important to include the entire planned scan region in the localizer radiograph.

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